What are Metastases?
Cancer cells can spread from the original tumor (cancer) and be carried to other parts of the body. When the cancer cells start growing in these new areas, these are metastatic sites. The most common places for cancer to spread are the lymph nodes, lungs, bones, liver, and brain.
Bone Metastases and Bone Pain
Some cancers are more likely to spread to the bone than others. Prostate cancer and breast cancer are examples of tumors that tend to spread to bone when they metastasize. You can have pain during any part of the cancer treatment experience. There are a number of ways to treat pain and what you are given may change over time. Ask for additional or different pain treatments if you need them.
Treating Bone Pain
Treatments specifically meant to address the pain of bone metastases include: analgesics (pain medicine) or anti-inflammatory drugs. External beam radiation can be used when pain is limited to a few places but usually takes 2 to 3 weeks of daily treatments. A radiopharmaceutical combines a radioactive isotope with a drug that targets bone. After it is injected, the drug carries most of the radiation to the areas of bone where the cancer has spread. Radiopharmaceuticals are used to deliver radiation therapy to multiple areas of bone metastases at the same time.
What is Quadramet?
Quadramet is a radiopharmaceutical indicated for relief of pain in patients who have been confirmed to have metastatic bone lesions that can be seen on bone scans. The radiation in Quadramet has a short half-life but the pain relief effects can last for up to 16 weeks. Quadramet is given by injection into a vein, usually as an outpatient procedure. In a small number of people, pain will briefly get worse (pain flare). During the pain flare the patient can be treated with analgesics. Most patients who have relief can get another injection if there is bone pain that recurs after the first injection. Quadramet should not be given at the same time as radiation therapy or chemotherapy due to decrease in white blood cell and platelet counts.